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Indian Law Certificate Courses
COURSES REQUIRED FOR THE CERTIFICATE
Federal Indian Law – LAW 204 - 3 credits
This course examines the United States' policies and laws regarding tribal governments and individual Indians. Major topics include: the origin and scope of federal power over Indian affairs, tribal governmental powers, tribal court systems, tribal property rights, limitations on state powers, and civil and criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country.
Tribal Law - LAW 278 - 2 credits
This course involves an examination of how Indian tribes legislate the law and adjudicate disputes that evolve in tribal communities. Instead of focusing on the relationship between the federal government and Indian tribes this course undertakes an analysis of how Indian tribes promulgate and enforce the law and how they interact with each other and state governments. Students will be given the option of writing a paper on a topic impacting this area or writing a judicial decision in an actual case in a tribal court utilizing the principles learned in the class.
Tribal Clerkship & Codification – 3 Credits (Experiential)
Each student will be given a legal issue(s) associated with an active or simulated case present in the tribal courts from our region. Under the supervision of the professor – the student will research the legal issue(s) and draft a bench brief suitable for presentation to tribal judges. As an additional component of this course, students will be trained to carefully read cases issued from tribal courts and will serve as annotators, assisting in the creation of a regional tribal reporter. After annotation, the cases will be scanned, organized, collected, and published electronically through the Northern Plains Indian Law Center and the University of North Dakota School of Law.
INDIAN LAW PRIMARY COURSES
(Certificate Students Must Earn a Minimum of 7 Credits)
Jurisdiction in Indian Country - LAW 256 – 3 Credits
Jurisdiction in Indian Country focuses on going in depth on the authority of a tribe to adjudicate disputes and legislate rules and regulations that govern both Indians and non-Indians on and near the reservation. No prior Indian Law coursework is necessary. Topics given particular attention are the tribes legislative authority to zone, to regulate hunting and fishing, and to tax. Additional attention is paid to the state’s respective authority to create rules or levy taxes in these same areas on the reservation. This tension between the tribe and the state forms the basic focus of this course.
Indian Gaming Law - LAW 276 - 2 credits
What is Indian gaming, and how did it turn into a multi-billion dollar industry and the most prominent public policy issue concerning Native Americans today? Framed by tribal sovereignty and the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 (IGRA), this course examines the substantive law governing Indian gaming, as well as the broader political context of reservation economic development through gaming. In just over two decades, Indian gaming has become a $26.5 billion industry with some 440 casinos operated by 230 tribes in 28 states. The course will explore the history of tribal gaming, substantive provisions of IGRA as well as other pertinent federal, tribal, and state law, and the continuing development of case law, statutory and administrative law, and, of course, politics. Topics include regulatory authority, casino-style gaming and tribal-state compacts, socioeconomic effects, revenue sharing, and "off-reservation" gaming.
Tribal Economic Development – LAW 279 – 2 credits
This course provides instruction on the intersection of federal and tribal laws that impact the planning, development and implementation of new businesses or the enhancement of existing businesses in tribal communities. Course instruction also pertains to the many statutory and common laws that may apply to businesses and professionals entering into business relationships with tribal governments and tribal businesses. This course will include application of the laws discussed.
Indian Child Welfare Act - LAW 294 - 2 credits
This course will combine an academic and historical analysis of the Indian Child Welfare Act with an examination of how native children are treated in the legal system in the child welfare area, as well as other areas (health care, education, and child support enforcement). The final grade will be based upon the students writing a brief for an Indian tribe, Indian parent, adoptive parent, or other party to an ICWA proceeding in an actual case that has been litigated or completing a comprehensive paper that may satisfy the writing requirement. Students will have the opportunity during the class to hear from tribal leaders, native persons who have been adopted out, and others about the historical displacement of Indian children from their Tribes and the impact of this legacy.
Indian Country Environmental Law – LAW 340 - 3 credits (Fulfills Intensive Writing Requirement)
Course Coverage: This course examines how an anomalous confluence of federal environmental, administrative and Indian law exacerbates environmental injustice in Indian country, but also offers its most promising solution. The modern environmental law paradigm of federal-state partnerships falters in Indian country where state regulatory jurisdiction is constrained by federal Indian law. A resulting void of effective environmental regulation threatens the cultural survival of American Indian tribes, who face air and water contamination from a legacy of federally encouraged natural resource development. A potential solution for closing the circle of national environmental protection accords sovereign tribal governments a state-like status. The course examines comprehensively the tribal treatment-as-a-state approach first developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and later codified by Congress in amendments to most of the major environmental laws, as well as federal cases brought by states and non-Indians challenging EPA's and tribes' authority to make binding value judgments about Indian country environmental protection.